Fourth AIMS mathematical sciences institute opens

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, or AIMS, officially opened a new centre of excellence in the town of Limbe, Cameroon, this month.

AIMS-Cameroon became the fourth institute of the growing pan-African network that seeks to drive development on the continent through capacity building in the mathematical sciences.

The centre will provide graduate training, research and educational outreach. It has already selected 36 students, including 12 women, from 15 nations for this first year.

AIMS has established itself as one of the world‘s most innovative educational institutions for development-oriented maths and science postgraduate education.

The first AIMS centre was established in South Africa in 2003. A concept known as the Next Einstein Initiative, or AIMS-NEI, was started in 2008. Other AIMS centres have since been set up in Ghana and Senegal, and a fifth is planned for Tanzania.

The goal is to have a network of 15 centres of excellence across Africa by 2021.

“The opening of a fourth institute is important because it adds to a growing force for Africa. It increases a pivotal pool of young scientists ready to meet the developmental challenges of this continent,” said Thierry Zomahoun, executive director of AIMS-NEI.

“In the past 10 years, students and researchers from Cameroon have made important contributions to the life at AIMS. We are pleased and proud that AIMS-Cameroon is our fourth centre and look forward to the contributions that it will make as the first institute in the Central African sub-region,” said Professor Barry Green, chief academic officer of AIMS-NEI.

AIMS-Cameroon plans to launch a research centre to host resident and visiting researchers in pure and applied mathematical sciences.

Professor Marcel Fouda, senior adviser of the Ministry of Higher Education, said that, through the centre, Cameroon would contribute to the “enhancement of the quality and diversity of education and research in mathematical sciences".

Funders of AIMS include the Canadian government through the International Development Research Centre, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, and the German government through DAAD, the German academic exchange service.